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$20k Hybrid Battery Replacement Shocks Arizona Driver

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — When the check engine light went on, Lucas Turner knew he had a problem, but it was worse than he thought. The dealership’s diagnosis of his 2014 Infiniti hybrid with less than 70,000 miles on it was unexpected. “They called me and said, ‘Oh, I’ve got bad news, Mr. Turner. You need a new hybrid battery and it’s going to cost $18,000 for the battery and another $2,000 to have it installed.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God.’ My jaw dropped,” Turner said. “I almost cried.”

Turner bought the car about three years ago for $16,000 and paid it off. “I can’t make this make sense in my mind. How does it cost $20,000 to put a battery in a car, but you only paid $16,000? When I bought the car, it came with the battery. It came with wheels. It came with brakes. It came with a body. It came with glass and everything. It came with an engine, but they want $20,000 just for a battery. It makes no sense in my mind,” he said.

According to Nerdwallet, the cost to replace a hybrid battery typically ranges between $1,000 and $8,000, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. “There’s no doubt in my mind that [Turner] could find a less expensive battery from another source,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst for iSeeCars.

Electric and hybrid vehicle batteries are warrantied for eight years or 100,000 miles. According to Brauer, the batteries regularly last much longer. “It’s not uncommon for these batteries to last 15-plus years and 150,000 plus thousand miles,” he said.

Before you buy a used hybrid, get the battery checked. “That should be part of the pre-purchase inspection, which you should always do when you’re buying a used car, no matter what kind of car it is,” Brauer said. “If they can confirm the battery is in healthy state, that’s the first step. If it’s not in a healthy state, they should use that as a negotiation point and they should research potential replacement costs.”

Turner’s car technically still runs, but he doesn’t know how much longer it will last without a costly repair. “So $20,000 or a pile of scrap metal in my driveway,” he said. On Your Side reached out to Infiniti. Turner says the automaker offered him a 50% discount on the battery replacement after we got involved. Still, the company has not responded to On Your Side’s questions about their hybrid batteries’ typical lifespan or replacement costs.

Source: Arizona’s Family